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Captain Gerrard to lead England into Euro 2012

ESPN staff
May 16, 2012 « Di Matteo urges veterans to take last CL chance | Chartbeat test »

England will be guided into battle at Euro 2012 by Steven Gerrard after Roy Hodgson confirmed the Liverpool man as skipper on Wednesday.

Gerrard worked as captain under Hodgson during the 64-year-old's unhappy time as manager of Liverpool, which ultimately saw him replaced by Kenny Dalglish. It was reported at the time that Hodgson felt he lacked the public support of key individuals such as Gerrard in the Liverpool camp, but clearly relations between the duo are better than portrayed in the media.

Tottenham's Scott Parker had skippered England's last international against Netherlands, but Hodgson insists only one man stood out for him when it came to making his decision.

"I'm pleased to announce Steven Gerrard will captain the team," Hodgson said during Wednesday's press conference.

"In my opinion he's the man who deserves this award, I know him as a player and as a person. I know how committed he is to the England cause, and he was delighted last night when I told him of my decision.

"I will be counting on him to help me to build the type of team unity that will be important for us to thrive at a major tournament."

Hodgson addressed the media after naming his 23-man England squad earlier on Wednesday, with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain the surprise inclusion. Gerrard is joined in the squad by Liverpool colleagues Glen Johnson, Stewart Downing and Andy Carroll, while Jordan Henderson is one of the men named on standby.

There is no place in the squad for Manchester United's Rio Ferdinand, omitted for "footballing reasons" according to Hodgson, with John Terry preferred as the wise head in Englan's central defensive options.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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